Valdosta, GA – South Georgia Medical Center and its Lanier and Berrien campuses are joining forces with South Health District and the American Cancer Society to encourage people to quit smoking, dipping, or chewing tobacco products during the annual Great American Smokeout. On Thursday, Nov. 20, free testing and education will be provided at the following four locations – Valdosta State University’s Health Sciences & Business Administration Building in Valdosta from 11am to 1pm, The Dogwood Café at SGMC Lanier Campus in Lakeland from 11am to 1pm, and Harvey’s Supermarket in Nashville from 10am to noon. Free lung capacity tests or test vouchers for one free exam, as well as blood pressure screenings will be available at each event location. Lung capacity tests measure the amount of oxygen you breathe in and out and how well oxygen is absorbed into your bloodstream. They are often used to diagnose emphysema, asthma and bronchitis and other lung disorders. Smoking can cause an increase in blood pressure so it’s important to be aware of your blood pressure levels. Attendees will receive tobacco-related educational brochures on the harmful effects of using tobacco products. Participants will also have a chance to sign up for free smoking cessation classes. For more information call (229) 333-1074.With many resources available to help smokers kick the habit, there has never been a better time to quit. The Great American Smokeout was inaugurated in 1976 to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day. Now, 44.2 percent of the 45.3 million Americans who smoke have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. The Great American Smokeout remains a great opportunity to encourage people to commit to making a long-term plan to quit using tobacco for good. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. Each year smoking accounts for 443,000 premature deaths and 49,400 nonsmokers die as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke. Half of all Americans who continue to smoke will die from smoking-related diseases. For more information about ACS’s Great American Smokeout visit www.cancer.org.